Ronald Reagan's "shining city upon the hill" describes today's Tampa, America's shining city on the bay. His words describe Tampa and our sense of optimism and hospitality.
President Reagan says it best, "… In my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."
We hope and pray the delegates to the Republican National Convention come back to America's shining city on the bay real soon and often.
Regarding "Extreme agenda" (Your Views, Aug. 28) and "A threat against women" (Opinion, Aug. 28):
I have one important question for Wendy Cartwright and Kim Michelman: Who is supposed to be monitoring and protecting these 12-year-old children? Their parents — that's who.
They claim, as well as their party, that the GOP and conservatives are for forced birth. Nothing could be further from the truth as usual.
This is nothing more than a failed party, and a pathetic attempt by its leaders to divert the American people's attention away from our country's horrible economic and moral decline of the last 5½ years.
Americans want to hear about private sector job creation, sane energy policies, true national defense both abroad and on our borders, curbing entitlement and special interest programs, and getting the unions and the government out of our way with their extortion and tax-regulation idiocy so that those of us who know what it takes to revive this tragedy are free to do so before it's too late, as we were under President Reagan.
Someone should remind these women that 78 percent of the births of black children don't involve a father in marriage or one who is even around. Other groups also have this problem. This road leads them directly to the taxpayer dole.
The only point that I have heard the GOP focus on about abortion is term limits, which sorely needs to be addressed in the name of humanity. And these claims that the GOP will take away any aid to unwed mothers are false.
It's a bad situation all the way around, but the GOP has plans to try to stop this dead-end pattern with our help.
The Democrats encourage non-married births by stating that "it takes a village to raise a child." More precisely, it takes our tax dollars and their indoctrination.
No one should be forced by government or any entity to finance abortions when it is against their beliefs and it's their hard-earned tax dollars. It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal left and special interest groups place more value on some bug or creature while having no qualms about taking a human life.
Mitt Romney has stated over and over that his views on abortion are mainstream, period. So can we please move on and get down to what's really important?
Respecting human rights
As the pastor of a local church, my ministry has involved compassionate care for people who have been the victims of sexual violence, including incest and rape. The healing process is very difficult and painful.
I find the current public conversation about "legitimate" rape to be extremely insensitive and uncompassionate. Having been sexually violated, a woman must now defend whether the violence was "legitimate"? "Forcible"? What is "illegitimate" rape? What is "non-forcible" incest? To engage in this kind of conversation only exacerbates the violation and traumatization experienced by women whose lives have already been damaged by sexual violence. It does not promote healing in any way.
In addition, when a traumatizing experience such as rape or incest results in pregnancy, to limit the options for terminating the pregnancy is demeaning and degrading to women. The assumption is that a woman who is a victim of rape or incest does not have the moral agency to make a healthy decision for herself and the fetus.
The Christian gospel teaches that every person deserves dignity and respect, and when women have been victimized by sexual violence, they deserve the full support of the faith community as well as society in the healing process, including the option of safely terminating an unwanted pregnancy.
If you respect human rights, vote and work to end sexual violence against women and men in our country and the world.
The Rev. Kim P. Wells